As medical professionals, it’s your job to understand various conditions, how they happen, and how they can affect your patients. The mental stress a person can go through when dealing with a medical condition can be a lot to handle, so knowing how these issues form can help you figure out ways to help your patients through them.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at incontinence anxiety and the reasons why people develop it. While there’s not a lot of research around this issue, it’s something those with incontinence deal with regularly, so let’s go in-depth on why people get so anxious about this condition.
Incontinence Is Embarrassing
The main reason why incontinence can be so stress-inducing is because of what the condition entails. Someone who is incontinent can’t control their bladder as well as they used to. This is an issue they likely haven’t had to deal with since they were an infant. Because of that, the issue as a whole can feel childish. Plus, people regularly make fun of others who can’t hold their urine.
This forces people to constantly worry about others discovering their current predicament. As a medical professional, it’s up to you to normalize this condition as much as possible. Incontinence is a fairly common issue in many adults, so informing your patient about this can help ease their mind a bit.
Dealing With It Discretely Is Stressful
Even if you help your patient feel better about having incontinence, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to tell everyone they know about it, which is understandable. However, this will make it much more difficult for them to deal with the problem throughout the day.
They’ll need to find excuses to go to the bathroom without others catching on. Then, they’ll need to discretely change their incontinence brief or catheter without anyone noticing or finding the evidence in the trashcan. This can lead to a lot more stress overall.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that one can do to overcome this other than practice. The better they get at changing these incontinence products out, the less likely someone will notice. Luckily, you can let them know there are bags they can buy to put these items inside after use so they can dispose of them more discretely when out of the house.
The Problem Is Wildly Misunderstood
The final reason why people develop incontinence anxiety simply comes down to the fact that the general public wildly misunderstands this medical condition. Most people think incontinence is something that only happens to seniors and that it’s completely irreversible. Neither of these is true, so it’s up to you to ensure your patients know the facts after learning they have this issue.
Also, you should tell them everything they need to know about dealing with their incontinence before they leave your facility. For example, giving some professional tips to new catheter users will help ensure they understand how to use these products effectively. In doing so, you’ll significantly reduce the stress they’ll encounter when using them for the first time.
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